When it comes to the sale of life insurance, advisors rank client procrastination as the most common challenge they face, significantly higher than finding new sales prospects, which follows as the second most common challenge (Figure 4; click to enlarge). Thirty-eight percent of advisors list clients’ lack of awareness about the need for life insurance as a problem, though this challenge is experienced most acutely by advisors whose primary focus is investment advisory/financial planning.
Figure 4 illustrates the differences in challenges experienced between male and female advisors. While male advisors experience significantly more difficulty with client procrastination and prospecting for new clients than their female counterparts, female advisors are more likely to struggle with client cost objections.
Setting aside gender differences, underwriting problems pose more of a challenge for respondents with higher production levels, presumably because they encounter more hard-to-place cases due to the volume of business they write. Only about 1 in 10 (9 percent) cited competition as a primary challenge when selling life insurance.
It is significant to note that, of the top four challenges advisors experience when it comes to selling life insurance, three are directly related to sales skill level: overcoming client procrastination, educating clients on the need for life insurance and countering affordability objections. Despite this, the need for additional sales training ranks near the bottom of the list, cited by only 6 percent of advisors.